Sunday, July 21, 2013

Catch up.

Wow!  It's been a long time since I've posted.  So much has happened, and so quickly.   Every once in a while I thought of posting something that was going on, but I was already so far behind that the idea of everything I had to write was overwhelming.  So I did what any reasonable person would do; I ignored it.  Until last Friday when I was told in no uncertain terms to put something up already.  So this post is for you Susan...

Joe, Denis & I at Bird Islet.  It's a short swim - only about 2km round trip from Whytecliffe - but boat traffic means you need an escort. Matt rented a boat in June and lead us out there.

I've decided not to sign up for the Bay 10km.  It started with a sore shoulder that just continued to get worse and worse until I couldn't ignore it anymore.  At the same time all sorts of daily stresses and responsibilities began eating into my training time.  I didn't do the right thing and pull back on mileage, and by the time I began upping the mind-numbingly boring shoulder exercises the physiotherapist gave me it was too late.  My shoulder was shot.  It was an agonizing decision and I was heartbroken for a few weeks, but I quickly realized that with work, the date of the closing on the sale of our house getting closer and closer, and all the packing and moving we had to do, it just was never an attainable goal this year.  The decision coincided with the end of the Spring Training Squad sessions and I took a few weeks off and allowed myself to wallow in self-pity, giving up swimming entirely.

This opened up a lot of time to run and bike and hike.  The great irony is that all this cross-training and leg work produced a shift in my swimming when I finally took to the water again.  The last few weeks my shoulder has been feeling astoundingly better as I've stopped overstretching and overusing my arms and instead, begun to rely on the increased strength in my core and my legs.  So I've lost a race and learned yet another lesson, but that's the business of sport for you and a lot of the reason why it keeps me coming back. 
Doing my thing.
I was busy sulking when the weather decided to pull out all the stops.  It's been so incredible this July I couldn't resist jumping back in.  It's been great fun to meet the same old crew and watch them shed hoods, vests and gloves and socks till everyone is down to their summer gear.   After my firm decision to not sign up for the wetsuit required race, I no longer had to train to swim with one.  Giving it up and reverting to swimming in my bathing suit was a revelation.  As soon as I felt the water on my skin I knew I'd made the right decision.  I'm a little lower and slower in the water, and it's sometimes hard to keep up, but it's all worth it.  I wish I could articulate why losing that thin layer of neoprene makes such a difference. It just feels so right to swim skin.
Rounding the Point from Bachelor Bay
Not racing has also freed me up to crew for Jen, my coach.  She's racing the Bay this year and I'll be timing her splits and keeping track of her stroke rate. And, of course, cheering.  Matt is piloting her boat and it will be great fun.  Denis is also racing it with Colene and Andrew crewing for him.  Pete is piloting for a team swimming it as a relay,  so it will be a reunion and party of least for those of us in the boats!

The race is next weekend and Jen & Denis have trained hard and prepared themselves to battle the crossing.  There's nothing now but to swim it.  I will channel Dory and try to beam them the mantra telepathically "...just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."  They're both more than ready for it and I can't wait to see them succeed.
Synchrnonised swimming with Colene

Colene is also undertaking a big swim this year.  She's signed up for the 7km Rattlesnake Island swim in Okanagan Lake.  I knew she'd been thinking about it and consciously tried not to pressure her even though I knew she'd swim it like a champ and enjoy it tremendously.  I am hoping that Matt and I can be out of the house before that weekend, can meet with the notary and sign all the papers, do the stuff we need to do with the bank, and hightail it to Peachland for the race.  It would be my third year swimming it and I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity of circling the island with my friend.  Plus the debauchery that follows is just too much fun.

As to what happens afterward....well Matt and I have been asked about that a lot since we sold the house.  Right now we are just focused on getting everything out while we are both working and trying to find the time to train.  It's been busy but every time we move something into storage or give it away I feel like a weight is being lifted.  I'm starting to feel freer and freer, as if once the last piece is gone I'll just float away. 

We'll sit down and make some concrete plans soon, which will for sure include lots of freediving and swimming, but for right now we're just enjoying the whole process of making a major change in our lives. 

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